Maine lawmakers are considering legislation that direct the Public Utilities Commission to issue solicitations for into 50 MW of large-scale solar resources under 20-year contracts by the end of 2022. Of the 50-MW total, 8 MW must be supplied by large-scale solar associated with an agricultural or forest products business. S.P. 529 outlines standards and procedures to encourage responsible bidding behavior and a competitive process.
The bill employs a “standard buyer” framework for each investor-owned utility’s service territory. (As a default, the standard buyer is the utility for its own territory, but the PUC may select another entity if doing so is in the best interest of ratepayers). The purpose of the standard buyer is to purchase the output of each category of distributed generation, aggregate the portfolio, and sell or use the output of these resources in a manner that maximizes the value to all ratepayers.
S.P. 529 also establishes a small business DG credit rate program, as an alternative to net energy billing.